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There is a new awakening in India that is challenging the ongoing westernization of the discourse about India. The Battle for Sanskrit seeks to alert traditional scholars of Sanskrit and sanskriti - Indian civilization - concerning an important school of thought that has its base in the US and that has started to dominate the discourse on the cultural, social and political There is a new awakening in India that is challenging the ongoing westernization of the discourse about India. The Battle for Sanskrit seeks to alert traditional scholars of Sanskrit and sanskriti - Indian civilization - concerning an important school of thought that has its base in the US and that has started to dominate the discourse on the cultural, social and political aspects of India. This academic field is called Indology or Sanskrit studies. From their analysis of Sanskrit texts, the scholars of this field are intervening in modern Indian society with the explicitly stated purpose of removing 'poisons' allegedly built into these texts. They hold that many Sanskrit texts are socially oppressive and serve as political weapons in the hands of the ruling elite; that the sacred aspects need to be refuted; and that Sanskrit has long been dead. The traditional Indian experts would outright reject or at least question these positions. The start of Rajiv Malhotra's feisty exploration of where the new thrust in Western Indology goes wrong, and his defence of what he considers the traditional, Indian approach, began with a project related to the Sringeri Sharada Peetham in Karnataka, one of the most sacred institutions for Hindus. There was, as he saw it, a serious risk of distortion of the teachings of the peetham, and of sanatana dharma more broadly. Whichever side of the fence one may be on, The Battle for Sanskrit offers a spirited debate marshalling new insights and research. It is a valuable addition to an important subject, and in a larger context, on two ways of looking. Is each view exclusive of the other, or can there be a bridge between them? Readers can judge for themselves.


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There is a new awakening in India that is challenging the ongoing westernization of the discourse about India. The Battle for Sanskrit seeks to alert traditional scholars of Sanskrit and sanskriti - Indian civilization - concerning an important school of thought that has its base in the US and that has started to dominate the discourse on the cultural, social and political There is a new awakening in India that is challenging the ongoing westernization of the discourse about India. The Battle for Sanskrit seeks to alert traditional scholars of Sanskrit and sanskriti - Indian civilization - concerning an important school of thought that has its base in the US and that has started to dominate the discourse on the cultural, social and political aspects of India. This academic field is called Indology or Sanskrit studies. From their analysis of Sanskrit texts, the scholars of this field are intervening in modern Indian society with the explicitly stated purpose of removing 'poisons' allegedly built into these texts. They hold that many Sanskrit texts are socially oppressive and serve as political weapons in the hands of the ruling elite; that the sacred aspects need to be refuted; and that Sanskrit has long been dead. The traditional Indian experts would outright reject or at least question these positions. The start of Rajiv Malhotra's feisty exploration of where the new thrust in Western Indology goes wrong, and his defence of what he considers the traditional, Indian approach, began with a project related to the Sringeri Sharada Peetham in Karnataka, one of the most sacred institutions for Hindus. There was, as he saw it, a serious risk of distortion of the teachings of the peetham, and of sanatana dharma more broadly. Whichever side of the fence one may be on, The Battle for Sanskrit offers a spirited debate marshalling new insights and research. It is a valuable addition to an important subject, and in a larger context, on two ways of looking. Is each view exclusive of the other, or can there be a bridge between them? Readers can judge for themselves.

30 review for The Battle for Sanskrit: Is Sanskrit Political or Sacred, Oppressive or Liberating, Dead or Alive?

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sathyanarayanan D

    My Reflections on “The Battle for Sanskrit” written by Shri. Rajiv Malhotra Ever since the superimposition of Westphalian concept of nation state on a formerly colonized state or newly liberated territory (i.e., India) from colonial subjugation, the debate whether this land is a single nation state or a state of many nations was kept alive by some forces. Such questions have always helped entrench the alien rule in India primarily by pitting one Indian against the other in the past. These false n My Reflections on “The Battle for Sanskrit” written by Shri. Rajiv Malhotra Ever since the superimposition of Westphalian concept of nation state on a formerly colonized state or newly liberated territory (i.e., India) from colonial subjugation, the debate whether this land is a single nation state or a state of many nations was kept alive by some forces. Such questions have always helped entrench the alien rule in India primarily by pitting one Indian against the other in the past. These false notions were cleverly constructed by the invaders and were spread systematically through their proxies. A nation, whose populace is psychologically weak and is a victim of inferiority complex can be enslaved easily. Islamic & Christian subjugation of other cultures was done with relative ease, but when it came to India the foreigners could not apply the same methods with this civilizational state which they have applied elsewhere successfully. Hence, the Christian invaders systematically studied Indian (Hindu) civilization and manufacture perverted interpretations of sacred traditions of India to prove that Hindus were/are a bunch of barbarians and such barbarianism is inbuilt in their tradition. The sacred tradition has been a single focus of attack for both the invading Abrahamic faiths from since their arrival though the means employed by both of them is different. Leftists have joined the forces only recently and are doing a good job indeed. Islamic invaders employed a more violent method, mainly converting the local population through threat & coercion, or simply eliminate them if they resisted conversion to Islam. Swami Chinmayananda in one of his interviews to a group from Australia said that, “for 400 years Muslims have been demolishing temples in their attempt to destroy Hinduism but they have only grown their biceps and could not destroy Hinduism”. But the Christian missionaries developed sophisticated methods specific to Indian scenario. Missionaries have realized that if they ever have to destroy this tradition they first have to appropriate its important language which is central to their civilization, i.e., Sanskrit. Hence, a large group of scholars were sponsored by British to understand India’s culture through learning Sanskrit. Even though the foreign colonial masters are no more in effective political control, their manufactured histories and vulgar interpretations have been continuously used by anti-national forces to disrupt India’s growth and unity. Among such groups, the political left is a peculiar one. Ever since the death of soviet empire their focus has been to divide India on some pretension or the other to make sure that their broader ideological goals are met. It is these communists who have helped Muslim league in partition of India in 1947. They have learnt from the erstwhile colonizers that to de-stabilize a healthy civilization it is required to understand the central components of its culture and tradition, only then it is possible to attack it. Shelden Pollock is considered as a pioneer of a peculiar type of leftist school in which India’s so called liberals are active members. This school’s main task is to prove through their interpretations of Sanskrit texts that Hindu Civilization is inherently backward & primitive which encourages barbarism. So, they prescribe a special type of cleansing and claim that only they can do it. It is in these trying times, Shri. Rajiv Malhotra - Indian-American researcher & scholar has mounted a formidable defense through his well-researched new book – The Battle for Sanskrit countering the arguments of a powerful leftist lobby. I have just finished reading it and cannot explain the sunshine I have experienced in words. Thanks to him, we now have a clarity on the subject. Shri. Malhotra sets his agenda by posing a list of questions he is going to address in this work as a part of the title itself. So, reader has a clear idea and proper motivation to read it further. Is Sanskrit: Political or Sacred? Oppressive or liberating? Dead or Alive? While outsiders like Shelden Pollock want to prove that it is political, oppressive and Dead, insiders are not doing enough to respond that it is sacred, liberating and alive. This work is primarily to awaken traditionalists (or Insiders) to rise up to the situation and provide intellectual responses to questions raised by the opposite side and highlight inconsistencies in Pollock’s scholarship. Before delving deeper it is fundamental to understand the difference between term/s insider and outsider. In my reading it is clear that whoever believes Sanskrit is Sacred, liberating and Alive shall be considered as Insiders. It is entirely possible that the insiders can be foreigners and outsiders Indians. Outsiders share some other common characteristics, they are predominantly atheists, secularists and Communists (actually hardcore believers of Marxism). If we have to assess their commitment to the ideology, i.e., Marxism or communism they are no less than Jihadists or ISIS (Islamic State), just that Jihadists employ murderous violence whereas leftists employ subtlety and obfuscate their ulterior intentions behind liberal notions like democracy, human rights etc., when not in power. But don’t hesitate to indulge in violence when they command absolute power, China (Cultural Revolution) & Stalinist Russia are couple of examples of the recent past. Shri. Rajiv Malhotra has done a great service by coming up with this work at a crucial time to provoke traditionalists to take up the task of doing Purva-Paksha, in which they were once experts. Though author identifies some 18 issues at the end of the book on which traditionalists ought to focus, I have picked a set of points that shall be of a great interest to all. All positions of outsiders on these items shall be intellectually challenged. Here they are: 1. The insistence to fit Indian civilization in to European experience: Scholars who are trained in western political thought superficially apply it to Indian civilization. Hence they are forced to uncritically use modernity, medieval, post-enlightenment & secularism and other irrelevant terms to explain historical events occurred in this civilization, which often leads to wrong interpretations. 2. Pitting Buddhists against Hindus: It is a lie which British colonialists manufactured to pit one group of Indians against others, to deepen their rule. Often Ambedkar is quoted as an authority and his experience & scholarship is cited as example to say that Hindu civilization encourages violence against Shudras. The million dollar question is why Ambedkar chose Buddhism instead of Islam & Christianity? Leftists feign ignorance on this topic. 3. Aryan-Invasion theory: Among a bunch of lies East India Company perpetuated to create a conflict between North and south Indians, this had a lasting effect, especially in the politics of Tamil Nadu. As a result of which a hate campaign was carried out by some political parties against a group of citizens. This theory has been scientifically debunked by many mainstream scholars, the foremost among them in my opinion is Shrikant G. Talageri who nails it completely, point by point. Pollock school continues to harp on this false theory for its convenience. The Word Dravida is used in Soundaryalahiri. Adi-shankara described himself as Dravida-shishu when he visited North, i.e., child of the land that is surrounded by water on three sides. No literature of India of thousands of years in any vernacular talks about this Aryan-Invasion theory. There is no corroboration from any other sources outside India to this effect. The argument that Aryans came from Central Asia and driven out Dravidians from north to south is a blatant lie. 4. Discounting the violent impact of Christianity and Islam on Hindu civilization: The genocide which Christian missionaries committed in Goa and a systematic elimination of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh in recent times offers us a glimpse of impact Christianity and Islam had on our civilization. When Pollock says that Muslim or Islamic invaders should not be blamed for India’s cultural degradation, it only highlights his prejudice against Hindus and selective blindness among other things. 5. Recklessly determined to discover barbarism in Sanskrit texts: This is an important plane on which our Home team has to engage outsiders thoroughly. Socialization of these outsiders in a different setup or simply because of being a victim of some ideological dogmas they could not or they don’t want to see the residual sacredness in Sanskrit texts. Let’s consider an example to understand what I am saying. How the death of Karna in Mahabharata can be interpreted by two groups? One could use it to inculcate values to all, this is a sacred approach whereas the others, i.e., outsiders would say that it encourages violence against Dalits and shudras. Sri. Saibaba of Puttaparthi describing the importance and values of good company says that “ it is only with good company you will come in contact with good qualities not with a bad company” he further says that “bad company is deadliest than a venomous snake, a snake would only bite when you step on it accidently or try to tame it, but a bad person injects venom every time you come in to contact with him, look what happened to Karna – The MahaYoddhha who is more powerful than mighty Arjuna, it is just because of his bad company ie., Duryodhana and sakuni he met a tragic end” (This is a loose translation of his speech that is published by Sanathana Sarathi monthly, Hindi edition, December 2015) But the same event will be interpreted by outsiders to say that since Karna was from chariot riders class Arjuna and Krishna killed him due to prejudice again lower class or castes. Hence, Mahabharata encourages violence against lower castes and Dalits etc. It is against lopsided interpretations such as these the insiders have to mount a collective defense. After all in a globalized world, how others think about us also matters. 6. Labelling the efforts to revive Sanskrit as Hindu revisionism: It is incorrect to say that Sanskrit encourages violence against minorities. There is a very big hypocrisy here. If we have to accept the arguments of Pollock school that any attempts to underscore the violence carried out by Islamic rulers for centuries against Hindus, it might turn Hindus against Muslims in the current day, because Muslims of the day have got nothing to do with those who have actually committed violence, then is it also not the case that the leftists effort to unearth atrocities of the past or blowing certain events out proportion will turn Dalits against Brahmins and other social groups within Hindu fold? If this is not hypocrisy then what else is? 7. It is important to show that Politics & sacredness are intertwined in Sanskrit and samskriti: The emphasis of sacredness is only to highlight the importance of morality & probity in conducting politics. If Gandhi says that he cannot imagine politics excluding without religion he is essentially referring to sacred aspects of our Samskriti that is embedded in Sanskrit. It is important to note that barring few bare minimum things there is no insistence on following instructions, it is left to the choice of follower or seeker. Shri. Rajiv Malhotra says in Hindu civilization there is no central authority like Pope in Christianity and Caliph or Mullah in Ummah to enforce religious dogmas. Such an independence only proves that our Samskriti is not only sacred but also politically progressive and liberal. 8. It is important for the insiders to realize that they need not fear English language: It can be self-taught through focused study in short period. It is an underdeveloped language and relatively weak in vocabulary. Forget Sanskrit, it is not even qualified to be compared against some of the vernaculars of India which are highly evolved and rich when it comes to vocabulary and literary strength. For eg: Tamil and Bengali are such powerful languages, if learnt fully the beauty of expression by using them would put Shakespeares of the world to shame. I totally support the author’s view that we should engage outsiders with all the respect they deserve, which is true to our tradition. It is only through a sustained dialogue we shall be able to fight the powerful cartel of outsiders who occupy a significant space in academia, media and other outlets that controls means of expression and act as gatekeepers of Indian knowledge. Finally, insiders should learn to read between the lines, and understand true intentions of outsiders. If Pollock refines his responses to a specific audience and praises Sanskrit we should be able to comprehend as to what he really means. In the age of Kali, the fight between Dharma & Adharma is a constant one. Like a relay race if one has completed his lap the other followers of Dharma should pick up the mantle and do their bit. My concern is who will uphold the legacy of Shri. Malhotra and continue with the tradition of Purva-Paksha after him? This is a question all insiders should ponder over. The fact that insiders have not risen to such a standard so far is a matter of serious concern. The hope is that at least now insiders will heed to the clarion call of Shri. Rajiv Malhotra.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Siddhartha

    This is a path breaking work of scholarship, that should serve as a template for future Indian academic writers exploring the subject of the euphemistically named "South Asian Studies" in the western universities. A well researched work with about 100 pages of notes and Bibliography, staying true to the spirit of Purva-Paksha (systematic study of opponent's position) the author emphasizes. The subject is a study of the perspective of American Orientalists, especially one Sheldon Pollock, a promin This is a path breaking work of scholarship, that should serve as a template for future Indian academic writers exploring the subject of the euphemistically named "South Asian Studies" in the western universities. A well researched work with about 100 pages of notes and Bibliography, staying true to the spirit of Purva-Paksha (systematic study of opponent's position) the author emphasizes. The subject is a study of the perspective of American Orientalists, especially one Sheldon Pollock, a prominent face of American Indologists with deep connections in India, on the language of Sanskrit and the implications of it in the interpretation of Indian traditions. Rajiv Malhotra starts with an introduction of Indian studies by Westerners beginning in late 18th century when Warren Hastings hires William Jones to codify Indian texts so Indians could be told they were being governed by their own laws, absolving the colonials from accusations of 'moral turpitude'. Thus began an entire era of studying India with the purpose of codifying it for the west. Codifying it for the west has been a theme of Indology ever since, more so with Pollock, as this book painstakingly explains. Pollock, to his credit does not claim to be a neutral ans is an avowed Marxist who is on record saying his objective is "we need a new past and ways to make better sense of it". In a way, this book is as much a respectful counter argument to a hardworking but biased and bigoted scholar, it is a damning indictment of the following: 1. The whole "South Asian Studies" establishment in US and to some extent, Europe, which for all practical purposes, functions like an old boys club with scant regard to due process, academic rigor and rational approach to theorizing. A few examples: a) Pollock's entire life's work is based on the singular and ridiculous assumption that Oral traditions in Sanskrit are not important. Really ? If a flood destroys every single written word, both digital and analog in the world, only the Vedas will survive it, and can be reproduced as they were, unchanged for a thousand years. And this oral tradition does not count ?And he does not get questioned ? b) Pollock uses Philology, Anthropology (however anachronistic), Sociology(even if far removed from Indian context) in his interpretation of Veda, Shastra and Kavya, all the while ignoring that Veda is the basis of the oldest spiritual tradition in human history and no one in the academia deems that odd ? It is impossible to separate Iha-Para in the Indian context. c) Pretty much every major conclusion proffered by Pollock is disclaimed by an acknowledgement of counter references, and an immediate dismissal of them by calling them "insignificant" , "marginal" , "invisible" (whatever that means), "unintentional and entirely irrelevant" etc. Not only that,he acknowledges choosing an interpretation that is in line with the thematic significance of his work. Is this luxury afforded to all social and religious studies or is reserved only for "Hinduism Studies" ? We all know the answer to that right! d) He makes sweeping statements like "the social and grammatical orders are related by their very nature" without any proof. Again, accepted as a 'theory' at face value. e) He often contradicts himself. Like when he claims that Sanskrit spread all over South Asia because the people there were primitive and had no culture and Sanskrit occupied a vacuum and in the next few pages, blames Sanskrit for arresting local literary traditions. Again, no eyebrows raised. 2. The academics, media and Indian and American millionaires happy to fund his projects in return for the connections and networking opportunities it provides. Rajiv Malhotra studies Pollock's corpus of work, which, for all his talk about "liberation philology" and rescuing Sanskrit from elitism, is strewn with archaic idioms and words like 'Empyreal' , 'Cosmogonic Speculation' , 'Morpheme' , 'Mythopoesis', 'Protocommunist Revelations' etc. I am not saying its wrong to show off ones English language skills, i am just saying one should not play liberator while doing so. From what Rajiv Malhotra quotes of Pollock's works, I found Pollock's modus operandi to be work back from a conclusion, offering selective references to support it, and oftentimes simply base it on an assumption with no evidence to back it. Also seee 1, c) above. Pollock's understanding of the basics of Hinduism and Indic traditions is regretfully simplistic, for instance, he uses the term 'Sacredotal Isolation'to imply Vedic rishis were only about chanting Mantras while performing Yagnas. He totally misses the fact that most Vedic Rishis were Grihasthas (married householders), who had to deal with famines, hunger pangs and other worldly problems like any Grihasta. He also calls Vedic people primitive and mystic. Does "Let noble thoughts come to us from all directions" sound primitive ? One of Pollock's significant theories is Indians were fatalistic, they had no concept of progress and they could not produce new knowledge without ascribing it to the Vedas. He offers Shastras as a proof of this theory. Yes. Multiple Shastras. As a proof that no new knowledge can be produced. Just because they ascribe the content to the Vedas ? If this is not Hinduphobia, i do not know what is. Yet another of Pollock's theories is that Sanskrit is inherently oppressive. For a moment let us not ask that an A/B test be performed for this theory and prove that this theory applies uniquely to Sanskrit and not to any other language, that would be too much for the "South Asian Studies" folks. Lets just examine the arguments against Sanskrit. 1. Did Sanskrit prevent anyone from learning it ? No. 2. Did Sanskrit lead to oppression, genocide and other colonial evils in all the foreign countries in South East Asia it had a prominent place ? No. Pollock tries to link Nazism to Sanskrit. He goes to the length of trying to associate an influential Greek and Hebrew scholar, Paul Lagarde, who is said to have inspired Hitler with Sanskrit, unsubstantiated and wholly fictional affinity of course. So secure he is in the knowledge that he wont be questioned as long as his conclusions are useful. His attempts are studied minutely and refuted by a German scholar, Reinhold Guenendahl. Of course, Pollock is a poster boy of Marxist controlled liberal media all over the world. So no one knows about Guenendahl. Pollock's interpretation of Ramayana is another topic that deserves its own review, but i will just say that the process of working back from a conclusion describes it perfectly. His understanding of Ramayana and its characters is driven by his Marxist pathological need to find an oppressed, an oppressor and blame Brahmins while at it. Never mind that it was written by a tribal turned Brahmin and its main antagonist is a Brahmin by birth. Remember "thematic significance". It is applied here. Just one example: "The status of junior members of the Indian household was, historically, not very dissimilar to that of slaves" says Pollock because Rama goes to forest in Ayodhya Kanda, while completely ignoring the fact that Rama disobeys Dasaratha's direct order twice in order to uphold Dharma in the same Kanda. Pollock also has a bizarre reason to date Ramayana after Buddha. He calls it 'Ashokan spirit' in it, whatever it is. I think it is the old Marxist love for Ashoka, the first king in entire world to declare a state religion. But because that religion was not Hinduism, Ashoka is a qualified secular. The most insidious objective of Pollock and his theories is his political project of winning India for the left. In collusion with the Indian media, most of which is leftist, he helps create a narrative where Hindus are oppressive, Muslims are the oppressed and the Marxists are liberators. Needless to say, Indian leftist journos quote him ad infinitum irrespective of the context to give their narrative a western stamp of approval. There is more, i will need a second reading too, this is a dense subject. There is an urgent need for Indians to read this book and engage political opponents in a spirit of Adi Sankaracharya. Thanks to Rajiv Malhotra for this book. Must read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Phanindra

    This is the first Rajiv Malhotra's book I read. It concerns itself with criticizing Sheldon Pollock's views on Sanskrit and its social impact on Indian society (I heard his name for the first time in this book). It is indeed a class work of criticism. Malhotra speaks of Pollock respectfully, presents Pollock's views well and gives a dispassionate counter view-point. Rajiv Malhotra mentions that he even met Pollock twice to discuss their disagreements. This is really a very professional and digni This is the first Rajiv Malhotra's book I read. It concerns itself with criticizing Sheldon Pollock's views on Sanskrit and its social impact on Indian society (I heard his name for the first time in this book). It is indeed a class work of criticism. Malhotra speaks of Pollock respectfully, presents Pollock's views well and gives a dispassionate counter view-point. Rajiv Malhotra mentions that he even met Pollock twice to discuss their disagreements. This is really a very professional and dignified way to approach criticism and I am quite impressed with that! Coming to the core topic of this book, I am surprised that there are intellectuals like Pollock who think that Sanskrit language itself is a "language of oppression"! Of course the Sanskrit Kavyas are blamed by people like Pollock for portraying patriarchy, hatred, social oppression and what not, but to take it further and blame the language itself is something only intellectuals can do! Rajiv Malhotra does not deny that these "dangerous elements" pointed out by Pollock exist in Sanskrit literature but he does not treat these as the "core characteristics" of the Sanskrit language/literature. Traditional interpretation of the Sanskrit kavya literature is that it is essentially "sacred" in nature and hence Malhotra points out that one needs to approach it accordingly to understand it in the right spirit. I side with him on this. So there may be some troubling aspects in Ramayana but normal people read it for inspiration and spiritual development, not to oppress woman or cultivate hatred against Dalits/Muslims as Pollock seems to imply. Malhotra explains in detail that the issue is much larger than Sanskrit language and literature. It has to do with efforts by people like Pollock to replace/reinterpret certain aspects of Indian traditional thinking with Western approaches. Pollock thinks he is doing a favor to Indians by flushing out the "toxicity" embedded in their literature but he is actually "throwing out the baby with the bath water", Malhotra argues convincingly. In the end, "toxicity" is not really out there in Sanskrit language or literature or Hinduism but in the human mind. Man thinks he is replacing the external toxicity but he is actually creating a new version of it! So it is amusing that Pollock himself is doing the very same things he is opposing in Sanskrit literature (being hegemonic in his views, seeking sponsorship, spoiling the purity of literature with his own interpretations etc), as Rajiv Malhotra explains towards the end of the book. At parts, the book gets too detailed and intellectual for my taste but it is an eye-opener in many aspects. This book is a must-read to understand the current intellectual eco-system with its social and political biases against the Indian tradition. I give the book 4 stars only for the "readability" aspect, it is a somewhat dry book (guess all intellectual books are!). But the content itself is surely 5 star!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vineet Menon

    A must read for everyone who loves India and it's sanskriti. Rajiv explains how European social science theories which have no relevance in Indian context are changing the topology of Indology and Indic studies including secularism, subaltern studies, marxism, feminism, class struggle, political philology etc. Using imported theories and substrate, foreign social scientists (including Sanskrit scholars) along with their desi sepoys are widening the fissures and created new ones as well. He very a A must read for everyone who loves India and it's sanskriti. Rajiv explains how European social science theories which have no relevance in Indian context are changing the topology of Indology and Indic studies including secularism, subaltern studies, marxism, feminism, class struggle, political philology etc. Using imported theories and substrate, foreign social scientists (including Sanskrit scholars) along with their desi sepoys are widening the fissures and created new ones as well. He very adeptly explains how and why foreign studies really matters to us Indians and must not be summarily rejected, as happened in Indus-Saraswati Civilization studies and Aryan Invasion Theories, a European indology product lapped up and consumed by mainstream Indian politics. This book is Malhotra's clarion call for all the traditional sanskrit scholars for writing 'uttara-paksha' for these 'videshi-indology' using his book as a bridge.

  5. 5 out of 5

    शिखा

    This is the second book of Rajiv Malhotra sir that I read, first one being, Indra's Net. As I turned each page, I began to realize under what great threat our culture is, today. The author has done extensive research in this field. Every true Indian must read this book and contribute to revival of Samskrit thereafter. This is the second book of Rajiv Malhotra sir that I read, first one being, Indra's Net. As I turned each page, I began to realize under what great threat our culture is, today. The author has done extensive research in this field. Every true Indian must read this book and contribute to revival of Samskrit thereafter.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Deepa

    Must read for all Indians and others who value history and tradition. The

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sahil Pradhan

    In February, a group of academics and others petitioned Rohan Murty to remove Sheldon Pollock, professor of South Asian Studies at Columbia University from the general editorship of the Murty Classical Library of India (MCLI). The MCLI is a series of classical texts taken from a range of Indian languages, in their original scripts together with English translations, published by Harvard University Press. Each volume is critically edited, introduced and translated by a competent scholar of that l In February, a group of academics and others petitioned Rohan Murty to remove Sheldon Pollock, professor of South Asian Studies at Columbia University from the general editorship of the Murty Classical Library of India (MCLI). The MCLI is a series of classical texts taken from a range of Indian languages, in their original scripts together with English translations, published by Harvard University Press. Each volume is critically edited, introduced and translated by a competent scholar of that language, without any reference to his or her nationality. Prof. Pollock is the initiator and the overall editor of the entire Murty Library, so named because Mr Murty, son of the Infosys founder and IT magnate N.R. Narayana Murthy, personally made an endowment of $5.2 million to launch the series, which put out its first five volumes (in Pali, Telugu, Persian, Punjabi and Braj) in 2015. In the heyday of imperialism, the West’s study of the rest was not always benevolent nor impartial. Instead, it was involved in the West’s agenda to conquer, subdue, exploit, and even exterminate several nations, societies, and cultures. We Indians need to remember, as Bernard Cohn famously put it, that “The conquest of India was a conquest of knowledge”. No wonder, the cultural and historical memory of our own struggle against foreign domination is still fresh. What is not equally obvious is that the battle to regain India’s civilisational poise, equilibrium, and self-confidence is far from over. In matters of culture, education, and thought, we are still largely colonised and subservient. The Indian mentality, particularly that of the elites, remains a prisoner of Western categories. Not just the clash, but the clasp of civilisations, is as much a struggle over epistemic categories and representations, as it is over economic and political interests. Paradoxically, even as India has powered ahead in the latter spheres, its educational and cultural institutions have deteriorated. Regretfully, the politicisation of academics by caste, language and regional lobbies has eroded the credibility of our universities. The possibly related emigration and relocation of lakhs of gifted Indian intellectuals to Western countries have only exacerbated our sense of inferiority. Indian knowledge production, especially in humanities and social sciences, lacks global recognition. No wonder, Rohan Murty preferred the prestige and brand value of Columbia and Harvard for his Library. He is not the only one; many Indian business leaders have chosen similarly to endow foreign universities rather than Indian ones. In a recent article, Murty laments that we have allowed “our institutions, manuscripts, and scholarship… to fall into a state of disrepair. And this I am going to help rebuild.” How? By giving $5.6 mn to the likes of Pollock at Columbia and Harvard? How will they help rebuild Indian scholarly institutions and traditions? Murty could have been visionary and courageous, trying to set up an editorial collective in India itself, even if it were not housed at a conventional university. Such a move might have been a game-changer in Indian academics, perhaps inspiring copycat endowments, in addition to instituting best practices in Indian critical and cultural production. To reverse the situation for argument’s sake, suppose a library of 500 best books of American culture, with an endowment from, say, Bill Gates, was handed over to Chinese scholars to produce, wouldn’t be interested Americans protest? The analogy may not be entirely apt but shows Murty’s lack of confidence in our own abilities to read, translate, and publish books of our culture. There could have been other models, more participatory and collaborative than the present, which I am not sure were fully explored. Moving to the more controversial demand to sack Pollock, in his 1985 essay, “The Theory of Practice and the Practice of Theory in Indian Intellectual History,” the learned professor damns the entire shastric tradition, which he considers co-extensive with Sanskritic culture, as authoritarian. The basis for such a sweeping indictment is a reductive misreading of the Vedas not only as fixed, transcendental signifiers and authorisers of chaturvarga, but as also responsible for the wholesale and systematic blocking of critical thinking through the entire course of Indian civilisation. Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of India would balk at such an egregiously arrogant impeachment. From such a perspective, pre-modern India becomes an object of modern rectification, if not rejection. We did nothing for thousands of years except oppress one another: Now “a great white man” must, messiah-like, take charge of our tradition to rescue us from our own oppressive legacies. Isn’t it obvious how such demonisation of Indian pasts serves to re-authorise neo-Orientalism, almost requiring an outsider from the dominant Western academy to help set us right? And doesn’t our history demonstrate that where scholars lead the charge against Indian culture, missionaries are only too ready to follow through? Indeed, Pollock has increasingly identified himself with left-liberal, even Hindu-phobic causes, signing various petitions, working to nix positions in Indic studies that diaspora philanthropists wished to endow in the United States, in addition to advising the government of India reportedly to end “its authoritarian menace” on Indian campuses. This smacks of politically motivated hegemonic practices, which are ideological rather than academic. Aren’t such attitudes bound to influence the content, translations, and outputs of the Murty Library? Rajiv Malhotra explains why he wrote this book. He notes the hegemony of western approaches in studying India and asks for a study of this western approach from a traditional point of view. His book is an attempt to provide such a reversal. According to Malhotra, western Indology scholars are deliberately intervening in Indian societies by offering analyses of Sanskrit texts which would be rejected by "the traditional Indian experts." He also finds western scholars too prescriptive, that is, being "political activists" that want to prescribe a specific way of life. The cover of the book is a picture of artwork featuring the British philologist William Jones which Malhotra had seen displayed in Oxford, depicting Jones giving knowledge to Hindu Pandits. The inducement for this book was the prospect of Sringeri Peetham, the monastery founded by Adi Shankara in south India, collaborating with Columbia University to set up an "Adi Shankara Chair" for Hindu religion and philosophy, sponsored by an Indian donor. The instalment committee for the Chair was to be headed by Sheldon Pollock, whom Malhotra regards as an erudite scholar but also as one who undermines the traditional understanding. Malhotra contacted the lead donor to voice his concerns, which were not shared by the donor. Nevertheless, Malhotra fears "the issue of potential conflict when the occupant of the chair takes positions that undermine the very tradition that has backed and funded the chair." According to Malhotra, ... the Vedic traditions are under assault from a school of thought whose fundamental assumptions are dismissive of the sacred dimension. If, out of naivety, we hand over the keys to our institutions and allow outsiders to represent our legacy, then any chance of genuine dialogue will be lost. Furthermore, because of the enormous prestige and power of Western universities, a view of the Sanskrit will become accepted by the public.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pradeep T

    This is a must read book for every Indian who is a courtesan of Sanskrit. Rajiv Malhotra has established an authoritative argument in this book by enunciating the rejoinders and refutations in the most erudite way and confronted the western narrative of the language Sanskrit. This book “Battle of Sanskrit” discourses the very same dispute in a comprehensive manner. Apparently, this is a significant work for the many Indologist scholars that are doing their research on Sanskrit since several years This is a must read book for every Indian who is a courtesan of Sanskrit. Rajiv Malhotra has established an authoritative argument in this book by enunciating the rejoinders and refutations in the most erudite way and confronted the western narrative of the language Sanskrit. This book “Battle of Sanskrit” discourses the very same dispute in a comprehensive manner. Apparently, this is a significant work for the many Indologist scholars that are doing their research on Sanskrit since several years. Atrocity literature is not a new phenomenon for our country. It has been an instrument for most of the westerners, politically leftists and communists to perpetrate the abhorrence towards some class of people. Here in this book, the author refers to those westerners that has worked relentlessly to tarnish the importance of Sanskrit and devalued the language as oppressive, politically incorrect, and dead. This book is not a rabble rousing of Grammar or literature. It is about the politicization of Sanskrit scholarship. It reveals and studies the production of knowledge and intellectual control mechanism in a globalized modern western world. It documents the vested interests of the American orientalists that are wielding control over the Sanskrit tradition from the helpless Indian pundits and thereby break the backbone of Hindu tradition. From the Pollock’s argument it seems clear enough that, Sanskrit is something Nazi. He argues that, Sanskrit in fact encouraged the Hitler of Germany to perform the Jew holocaust. Read the full review HERE

  9. 4 out of 5

    Surender Negi

    "The Battle For Sanskrit" is an eye opener book for Indian traditional's, People of India and student of future India. I would like to suggest the readers of this book, pls spread a word abt this book to your children, mate and friends in simplistic manner. This book beautifully defined the future attack by Indian Left, orientalist and UK/US trained secular who want to destroyed this culture for shake of Western Universal-ism. Why should this book need to be read.. 1) For understanding the idea b "The Battle For Sanskrit" is an eye opener book for Indian traditional's, People of India and student of future India. I would like to suggest the readers of this book, pls spread a word abt this book to your children, mate and friends in simplistic manner. This book beautifully defined the future attack by Indian Left, orientalist and UK/US trained secular who want to destroyed this culture for shake of Western Universal-ism. Why should this book need to be read.. 1) For understanding the idea behind western universal-ism and their role in digesting Indian culture. 2) For Understanding the our position against this falsely claim about our traditions and history 3) For Understanding the political infiltration through showing Hindus oppressive and primeval 4) For Understanding the western double meaning theory for Sanskrit/Tradition/Rituals/hindus. 5) For Understanding and raise a voice against those who are hinduphopic and want to change our history for some lunatic purpose. I have decided to educate school children in my approach to teach abt this book and its idea. It will help them to critically think abt western ideology and raise their confidence on Sanskrit and sanskriti. Last thanks to Shri Rajiv Malhotra for writing such vibrant and eye opening book to Indian people like me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Praveen

    In this book Rajiv Malhotra has described, with scinitillating clarity, about what is ailing Western Indology these days. He has picked up one representative of what he calls "American Orientalism", the new avatar of erstwhile British Orientalism. The one Indologist that Rajiv picks up is Sheldon Pollock Sheldon Pollock, probably the strongest proponent of the modern day philology and Orientalism. I came away with a strong impression that the absence of Indian stakeholders has left the field open In this book Rajiv Malhotra has described, with scinitillating clarity, about what is ailing Western Indology these days. He has picked up one representative of what he calls "American Orientalism", the new avatar of erstwhile British Orientalism. The one Indologist that Rajiv picks up is Sheldon Pollock Sheldon Pollock, probably the strongest proponent of the modern day philology and Orientalism. I came away with a strong impression that the absence of Indian stakeholders has left the field open for the wildest sort of interpretations of the Indian contexts and texts. Pollock accuses Sanskrit, of all things, of having generated - racialism, Colonialism and Nazism!...Yes you heard it right... My fellow Indians, in case you were not aware, it was Sanskrit which gave rise to all the evil doings of the Western man...now the White man can let go his burden and sleep with a clear conscience, for he knows now that, when he came to India after conquering half of the world and having started human slavery along the way, he learnt all of this from Sanskrit! Every Indian needs to be aware about what is going on in the name of Indology!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Manoj Prakash

    It sometimes puzzles me as to why would one ridicule or mis-interpret the language and it’s contents basis the behaviour of a generation. The ignorance of the practitioners can’t be the reason to discredit the language. Mr Rajiv Malhotra has done a remarkable job by putting together the arguments against Mr Sheldon Pollock. His intellectual approach without being overly dominated by emotion is very appreciative. As Indians, we seem to retain pride only in a few aspects of our heritage limited by t It sometimes puzzles me as to why would one ridicule or mis-interpret the language and it’s contents basis the behaviour of a generation. The ignorance of the practitioners can’t be the reason to discredit the language. Mr Rajiv Malhotra has done a remarkable job by putting together the arguments against Mr Sheldon Pollock. His intellectual approach without being overly dominated by emotion is very appreciative. As Indians, we seem to retain pride only in a few aspects of our heritage limited by those aspects enshrined in our constitution. However, greater dimensions do exist for which we can feel happy and proud about but these have been removed from our lexicon owing to the colonialism effects and sometimes deliberate efforts to keep us this way to this day. Read this book to gain the insights. Despite such good review only 4 stars ? It’s great book, but not the best. For at times it gets too repetitive. Secondly the evidence against the arguments needs to be further strengthened through cross referencing of native Indian research. Afterall, a researcher has to be defended by researchers too.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Karthik Vaidhinathan

    A great book that sumnarizes Pollock's views on samskriti, from an insider's perspective. while I felt Mr. Malhotra could have gone into more details in his response, as he himself says, this is intended as a conversation starter. hoping to see Pollock's response and an expanding of the kshetra with more scholars coming into it on either side. A great book that sumnarizes Pollock's views on samskriti, from an insider's perspective. while I felt Mr. Malhotra could have gone into more details in his response, as he himself says, this is intended as a conversation starter. hoping to see Pollock's response and an expanding of the kshetra with more scholars coming into it on either side.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Yogi Yogi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Rating : 10/10 Overview of Content: The book is well structured and runs into 11 chapters. Also adding to the voluminous nature of the book are the detailed appendixes and superb footnotes. The book starts off by giving a background to the creation of the book i.e. the deal of the North American wing of Shringeri Matha with Sheldon Pollock and its implications for Hindus worldwide. To those who have not heard Rajiv Malhotra’s online talks, the deal would have made Sheldon Pollock the custodian and Rating : 10/10 Overview of Content: The book is well structured and runs into 11 chapters. Also adding to the voluminous nature of the book are the detailed appendixes and superb footnotes. The book starts off by giving a background to the creation of the book i.e. the deal of the North American wing of Shringeri Matha with Sheldon Pollock and its implications for Hindus worldwide. To those who have not heard Rajiv Malhotra’s online talks, the deal would have made Sheldon Pollock the custodian and official voice of this great Hindu matha ( setup by Adi Shankaracharya no less).This puts into perspective the nature of the new (and old) Western Indological attack on Hinduism. Chapter 2 gives a brief but good overview of the previous major assaults by Western thinkers and scholars, mostly late 18th and 19th century and contrasts this with the new assault coming from the US of A. The nayak or hero of the book, Sheldon Pollock makes his appearance towards the end of the second chapter. Chapter 3 onwards every chapter deals with one aspect of Sheldon Pollock’s work.eg. Chapter 5 shows how Pollock views Ramayana as an oppressive text and also explains the theory he uses to portray it as oppressive (Aestheticization of power). Chapter 7 deals with Pollock’s attempts to show that Bharatiya regional languages are locked in a perpetual state of conflict with Sanskrit. Hence Sanskrit is a villain who needs to be reformed. And how is this reformation going to happen? By getting rid of all that is scared i.e. anything which springs from the Vedas etc. Chapter 8 presents Malhotra’s view on how things can be viewed from our perspective. In this chapter the views of traditional Hindu scholars such as Prof. Satyanath,are presented to refute Pollock’s arguments. Chapter 9 is very interesting as Pollock’s motivation behind declaring Sanskrit as a dead language are explained in detail. Chapter 10 dissects the hero of the book i.e. Sheldon Pollock. It makes a sad but unsurprising read that the clueless Indian elite gave Pollock the Padma Sri and he is a feted speaker at the secular gatherings such as the Jaipur literature festival. Chapter 11 is the concluding chapter where Rajiv Malhotra offers ideas on the way to rejuvenate Sanskrit and thus decolonize our minds. Some of the recommendations have been made previously by Dharampal etc. My comment: I have read nearly all of Rajiv Malhotra’s (RM) books, bar one (Indra’s Net). He is what I would call an “Iterative Kshatriya”, someone who fights, learns and fights again. And gets better and better with each battle. I am a lay reader and not knowledgeable enough to comment on his conceptualisation of Uttarapaksha, Purvapaksha etc. Many would be aware that there is quite a lot of heated debate going on between RM and traditional scholars. A quick Google search will educate you on the various aspects of the debate. One point that has been raised is that RM is not right in his conception about our side of things. But the book is primarily an exposition of a key enemy generals tactics. Whatever discussion occurs representing our side is really to give a contrast between our position and theirs. The book has to be seen in the overall perspective of the other books RM has published. RM is a reconnaissance scout who is tracing the contours of the intellectual kurukshetra. The key value of the book is that it identifies one of the key shadow enemy generals of this intellectual “Kurukshetra” i.e. Sheldon Pollock. And dissects in minute details the main weapons, strategies and firepower possessed by Sheldon Pollock. Of course with the publication of this book, Sheldon Pollock is probably the most well-known “Sanskritist” and not in a good way either. Translating Sanskrit or regional language texts into English is a risky affair as Malhotra has demonstrated with the example of the critical edition of the Ramayana. What happens next is that Western Indological vultures descend on the text and pick and choose the bits they want. The crucial aspect is that the ownership of the texts automatically passes from Hindus to the Westerners once a text is translated in English. Consider this situation: India manufactures a path breaking missile, however very generously we decide to give the blueprints (or the Intellectual property) to Pakistan and of course the USA. Without exaggeration this is what happens when our manuscripts are translated into English. The damage that the western distortions of our culture has done and continues to do is immense both in human, cultural and financial terms. We have been undergoing a cultural genocide especially in the last 200 years, which has intensified post-independence. If we imagine the intellectual world to be a kurukshetra where weapons are words and books, we are now fighting on the enemy’s turf and on his terms. Western Indologists will draw their Hindu opponents deeper into the chakravyuh by escalating the verbosity and absurdity of their theories and analysis. These are semites- they have over 2000 years’ experience of fighting on words. This situation is another reason why the Indology practised in the West and that practised in India has radically differing aims and outputs. Is it then surprising that Sheldon Pollock is advocating a scenario similar to the East India Company’s strategy- hire an army of native sepoys, who are brave and resourceful and let them do the dirty work. These sepoys who are fluent in Sanskrit and English will then wreak havoc on the traditional way of life. Knowledge of English will then become the arbiter of expertise in Hindu studies. Those working at various Indological institutions in India (MS, LD, BORI etc.) are genuine scholars and researchers. However purely based on the verbosity and control of English, Western Indologists become the superior arbiters of our heritage. To nullify this situation we need to practise an “Area Denial Strategy”. The best option is to choke the supply of English translations and kick start the process of publishing commentaries/translations in Sanskrit and regional languages. Extracts of these are then published in local newspapers and plays performed on them. Thus both oral and written aspects are respected. This process was interrupted by the Christian occupation of India since 1800’s. This will have multiple advantages: It will breathe new life into the regional languages which are now being choked by the weed that is English (a Congress weed). The re-Sanskritisation of regional languages will also reciprocally enrich Sanskrit. Gradually the popular vocabulary of the masses will also be rid of the English infestation. But most importantly in terms of the intellectual kurukshetra, we will have formed our own chakravyuh, where we can intellectually cut them to pieces. Their expertise in our languages is a “gained” one which can easily by disputed by a competent Hindu scholar. Essentially the situation now consists of fighting a defensive holding action (what Malhotra and others are doing) and creating a new battle in this ongoing Mahabharata. This is the stage where we take the offensive. As a vast corpus of Sanskrit texts is outside India, we don’t have much control over what happens outside. But we can control who comes over here and then accesses the manuscripts. And most importantly we can intellectually tear apart their faulty and agenda driven interpretations. Another concurrent step (one repeatedly suggested by RM in his talks) is to setup an indigenous ecosystem of journals. And make them the final word on the subject. The papers, in my opinion, should be written in regional languages and Sanskrit and should include a critical evaluation of work done by Westerners. To gain acceptability and credibility, scholars would need to publish in our desi journals. And as a rule quoting Westerners should no longer be a badge of honour. Sidenote : I told a budding western Indologist some years back, that the study of Bharata should be done by Bharatiyas not foreigners. He was little bit outraged at that. The book’s typesetting, binding, paper are all industry standard and the font chosen is quite pleasing to the eyes. Overall a high quality product in content and aesthetics. Sometimes RM does get a little repetitive in his writings (found this in previous books as well), but this might be to reinforce the message. Typo: One aitihasik typo in the book: on pg. 192, Vikramaditya VI is identified as ruler of empire of Karnatas (Vijayanagara) empire. There was no such king. Probably it refers to the Chalukya kings. RM is citing Pollock here, so it might be a gaffe in Pollock’s book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nikhil Pimputkar

    Before reading this book, I had read 3 books authored by Rajiv Malhotra; namely Breaking India, Being Different and Indra’s Net. Anybody who’s read the author’s works knows that though each book deals with different issues, each book focuses on 3 kinds of transformations. -Perspective on history: You unlearn some (false) history and learn (true) history -Perspective on philosophy mainly philosophy of dharmic traditions. - Adhyatmika awakening This book, the 4th one, is no exception. The story behind Before reading this book, I had read 3 books authored by Rajiv Malhotra; namely Breaking India, Being Different and Indra’s Net. Anybody who’s read the author’s works knows that though each book deals with different issues, each book focuses on 3 kinds of transformations. -Perspective on history: You unlearn some (false) history and learn (true) history -Perspective on philosophy mainly philosophy of dharmic traditions. - Adhyatmika awakening This book, the 4th one, is no exception. The story behind the book: Although it’s a long story narrated in the book, I’ll make it short for the reader. Some wealthy NRIs, teamed up with top administrative leaders of The Sringeri Sharada Peetham established by Adi Shankar, decided to set up a university chair in the name of Adi Shankar. The academic committee set up to manage this chair was headed by Sheldon Pollock. None of these decision making people seemed to have read any work of Sheldon Pollock. I’ll come to why this is not in our (Indians’) interest later. The book was written to expose Mr. Pollock’s views to Insiders (people who are living this tradition) and to stop Sringeri Sharada Peetham from funding the chair. What the book is about: The subtitle of the book gives some idea of what the book is about. ‘Is Sanskrit Political or Sacred? Oppressive or Liberating? Dead or Alive?’ There are two sides discussed in the book. One side look at Sanskrut from secular lens. They study ancient Sanskrut texts and apply some totally irrelevant theories developed 200-300 years back to the texts. They are not part of living tradition. They think Sanskrut is political, oppressive and dead. The author has called these people ‘Outsider’ . The label ‘outsider’ is irrespective of one’s nationality, race, mother tongue, gender etc. An Indian having above views on Sanskrut is an outsider. The American Academia on Indology is filled with Outsiders. The other side looks at Sanskrut from dhamic lens. They study Sanskrut as it is. They are part of the living traditions called as ‘Sanskriti’ which cannot be separated from Sanskrut. Just like ‘Outsider’, the label ‘Insider’ is not only for ‘Indians’.Although anybody in the world, who thinks of Sanskrut as Sacred, Liberating and Alive is Insider, it’s obvious that most of the Insiders are Indians. The author is an Insider. The book first gives you brief introduction to European Orientalism and then turns to American Orientalism. The author has taken on Mr. Sheldon Pollock as Mr. Pollock is the strongest player from the Outsider camp. The author has explained different innovative theories peddled by Mr.Pollock and then given his own rebuttals. My thoughts on the book: Born and brought up in India, I was unknown to the myths peddled by Mr. Pollock under the label of academic studies. For example, he says Sanskrit was used by Kings to oppress people. I don’t know what her meant by ‘oppress’, but it’s not surely slavery and genocides as happened in the West. Take another example, Mr. Pollock said Ramayan was written in post buddha period. He conviniently ignores all the archeological evidences. One more; Pollock argues that German Indologists of the early 20th century borrowed idea of racial purity and ethnic violence from their study of Sanskrut. This infulece, according to him contributed the ideology that prompted the Nazi holocaust against the Jews. (page 169). It gets as absurd as it can. There are many other false theories. I won't go into the details as you'll find details in other reviews. Just like many others, I used to think "It doesn't matter what they think of us. What we think of our self is important". I was wrong. If you don't oppose them, then they keep on repeating same thing. They build their careers based on one another's work. Cite one another's work in their books. Then some useful idiots, sepoys, in India find such stuff useful and fit for their narratives. Finally it becomes part of our history textbooks. They did this with Aryan Invasion/migration theory. They have successfully created'Upper Caste people have been oppressing lower caste people in India' story. We have framed some our laws based on this. I don't know if Pollock's work has (or had?) similar potential to do same damage but his vast body of work needed to be studied from Insiders' point of views. At the end of the book, the author has emphasized on the need to have 'Home Team' to counter the Outsiders and more. This book has helped me just like the other books written by the author did. I unlearned some history and learned more history. e.g. British broke the backbone of Indian education system by closing more than 700000 gurukuls. The book also has a few gems of thoughts which help sadhaks fine tune. Do read this book to remove 'the burqa on your mind'.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shravan Mishra

    An eye opener for every Indian insider, who considers Indian culture and it's tradition as well as Sanskrit to be a heritage. The writer in this book highlights many issues concerning existing threats to Sanskriti and Sanskrit. Indian liberals and marxist's obviously find this book to be some kind of personal vendetta against Sheldon Pollock but Rajiv Malothra has nowhere in this book unleashed any personal attack on him, rather Rajiv critiques the works of Sheldon Pollock. This book will surely g An eye opener for every Indian insider, who considers Indian culture and it's tradition as well as Sanskrit to be a heritage. The writer in this book highlights many issues concerning existing threats to Sanskriti and Sanskrit. Indian liberals and marxist's obviously find this book to be some kind of personal vendetta against Sheldon Pollock but Rajiv Malothra has nowhere in this book unleashed any personal attack on him, rather Rajiv critiques the works of Sheldon Pollock. This book will surely get you pondering over the identity crises among Indians and will give you an idea as to why do Indians feel a sense of inferiority complex over their Indian identity. Sanskrit is not just any language, it has deep significance pertaining to our culture and heritage. It is also the source to study our rich ancient past.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Srikanth

    It's a great read.The distorted views on Sanskrit and its origins has been exposed. It's a great read.The distorted views on Sanskrit and its origins has been exposed.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lk Pal

    A must read for all those who have any concern for Indian sanskriti.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shivoham

    Must read. Must read for every Hindu and those who want to study Hinduism. Great work by Rajiv ji in awakening us, Sanatan Dharam followers.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rohit

    Very insightful book on a complex topic.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dhaval

    If you are a casual reader then this is not a book for you. Picking up a Rajeev Malhotra book is always a challenge for me as its not just a book its an arduous intellectual journey that he takes his readers on. You also need to some basic understanding of Indian culture and its history. This book is no different, he has once again taken a topic close to Indian heart and unearthed systematic misappropriation being undertaken by the neo-colonialists as well as our own Westernized Indian intellect If you are a casual reader then this is not a book for you. Picking up a Rajeev Malhotra book is always a challenge for me as its not just a book its an arduous intellectual journey that he takes his readers on. You also need to some basic understanding of Indian culture and its history. This book is no different, he has once again taken a topic close to Indian heart and unearthed systematic misappropriation being undertaken by the neo-colonialists as well as our own Westernized Indian intellectuals who are in position of power every where. It is painful to see a detailed account on how our culture is deconstructed and repackaged and sold back to us as a component of the grand western narrative. Mr. Malhotra creates a compelling case on why we need to create a strong home team to taken on this narrative and bring the traditional Indian view to the fore which is much needed as a lot of western ideas and philosophies run out of steam. As a famous management guru said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”, so when our culture is being eaten for breakfast we better wake-up and fight for it!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anand

    Rajiv Malhotra has done great purva-paksha on Shellon pollock. The poster boy of American new orientalist projecting as postmodern liberation. Rajiv exposes american hegemonic discourse in intellectual/academic world of american. And Red flags like new Sepoy's PhD's in Sanskrit from american universities, nexus leftist/communist media's with Sheldon Pollock Sepoy's. Spreading venom's on Ramayana under umbrella of as Master in Sanskrit. And foolishness of Indian billionaire(Murty Classical Librar Rajiv Malhotra has done great purva-paksha on Shellon pollock. The poster boy of American new orientalist projecting as postmodern liberation. Rajiv exposes american hegemonic discourse in intellectual/academic world of american. And Red flags like new Sepoy's PhD's in Sanskrit from american universities, nexus leftist/communist media's with Sheldon Pollock Sepoy's. Spreading venom's on Ramayana under umbrella of as Master in Sanskrit. And foolishness of Indian billionaire(Murty Classical Library Of India) supporting Sheldon Pollock without doing proper purva-paksha on Sheldon pollock work & his political activism. Exposing/Red flag's of this work. "this means the texts are going to be edited and freshly interpreted" as per outsiders, how don't have any emotional bond with Hindu drama. For simple analogy can be "As European/American done for colonized countries & Native american's at intellectual level" done in orientalist times 18th & 19th century. Book givens idea's counter the existing problem. "Yah kriyanan sah panditah" Change can be brought about only through action, not by armchair pandits~ page 373

  22. 5 out of 5

    Himanshu Chauhan

    Rajiv is an intense writer. Battle of Sanskrit is a book to understand the western gaze on Sanskrit which is leading to appropriation and derogation of Indian identity by western scholars through the same lexicography which made colonisation a morally recommended project. Reading through the book, I realized that though Rajiv is not truly objective. However, this book as explained in the beginning itself is an insider perspective of the Dharmic traditions. It is a must read for all those interes Rajiv is an intense writer. Battle of Sanskrit is a book to understand the western gaze on Sanskrit which is leading to appropriation and derogation of Indian identity by western scholars through the same lexicography which made colonisation a morally recommended project. Reading through the book, I realized that though Rajiv is not truly objective. However, this book as explained in the beginning itself is an insider perspective of the Dharmic traditions. It is a must read for all those interested in indology and linguistics. The arguments are clear and concise, which is hard to expect from other writings of the genre and makes for a great slow read to absorb the intensity of concept and material.

  23. 4 out of 5

    K. Jaya Kumar

    An amazing view at both the macro level and micro level battle being fought by the west to strip other cultures of their intellectual achievements and outputs and claim them as their own. Sanskrit is front and center in that battle (closely flanked by the Aryan Invasion theory, the Dravidian fairy tales, the complete supression of information about the transmission of knowledge areas like structuralism , mathematics etc to the west, the stripping away of the sacred element in sanskrit and its in An amazing view at both the macro level and micro level battle being fought by the west to strip other cultures of their intellectual achievements and outputs and claim them as their own. Sanskrit is front and center in that battle (closely flanked by the Aryan Invasion theory, the Dravidian fairy tales, the complete supression of information about the transmission of knowledge areas like structuralism , mathematics etc to the west, the stripping away of the sacred element in sanskrit and its integral unity with all indic traditions - through shallow theories of dubious applicability under the guise of volumes of pompous sounding verbiage from what are in essence centers of propaganda dissemination) - and Rajiv lays bare this battlefield for people to understand!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Diwakar Narayan

    The book clearly captures the political attempt to depreciate Sanskrit, its historical relevance and its studies in India, along with so many key points revolving this subject. This is a must read if you are interested in Indian culture and sanskriti.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dharmapedia

    Rajiv Malhotra's book is an important work and critique on American orientalism, focusing in particular on the work of Sheldon Pollock. Rajiv Malhotra's book is an important work and critique on American orientalism, focusing in particular on the work of Sheldon Pollock.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tarun Rattan

    This book by Rajiv Malhotra brings out into the open, the existential threats facing Vedic civilisation today. This battle for Sanskrit has to be fought tooth and nail by every Hindu, better would be to wage an outright war against these divisive forces who’re hell bent on destroying our civilizational values and heritage. These destructive forces lay bare their own impotence by attacking Vedic ethos and beliefs as these are far superior than anything they can claim as their own. In August 2014 This book by Rajiv Malhotra brings out into the open, the existential threats facing Vedic civilisation today. This battle for Sanskrit has to be fought tooth and nail by every Hindu, better would be to wage an outright war against these divisive forces who’re hell bent on destroying our civilizational values and heritage. These destructive forces lay bare their own impotence by attacking Vedic ethos and beliefs as these are far superior than anything they can claim as their own. In August 2014 the author became aware of a sinister attempt by American Indologist, Sheldon Pollock that could have compromised the integrity of Sringeri Sharda Peetham, one of the most sacred institution for Hindus. A group of wealthy NRI’s were being beguiled by Pollock to team up with the top administrators of Sringeri Peetham in India to setup a Columbia university chair in the name of Adi Shankara, an 8th century Hindu sage widely attributed to the revival of Advaita Vedanta. The sanctity of Sringeri Peetham has been carefully safeguarded for more than a thousand years. The adhikara (authority) to represent the Peetham and speak on its behalf has always rested solely with the acharyas, who are groomed from childhood and lead an austere life to assume this responsibility. This was alarming for author to see this university chair created in name of Peetham as it would’ve amounted to giving up control of the teachings and brand name of Sringeri Peetham to outside interests. The author concedes that the issue was not whether Hinduism or the teachings of Adi Shankara can sustain critique by outside authorities. In-deed he accepts that such critiques are necessary and healthy. Rather the issue was that, in this case, the critique would be put forth with the imprimatur of Sringeri Peetham. In author’s view the Peetham should shoulder the responsibility for answering the critics, not sponsoring them! This book is a commendable attempt dedicated to the exemplary Dharmic debating tradition of purva-paksha and uttara-paksha. The author views his attempt, rather poetically as an intellectual yajna with mutual respect, but likelihood is that after reading this book readers would question if these divisive forces deserve any such respect. It would’ve been far more heroic for someone like Sheldon Pollock to really imbibe the spiritual tenets of Vedas and then work on the reformation of the staid Abrahamic traditions to plug the huge gap that exists between the two belief systems. Instead Pollock is only interested in making these puerile and conceited attempts to distort the Sanatani beliefs and to unseat Vedic tradition from its high pedestal earned through its superior logic and reasoning. By pursuing these vain attempts Western scholars like Pollock stand the risk of being discredited in the long run even if they might get some half-witted admirers on Indian left and liberal side in the short term. The first chapter covers hijacking of Sanskrit tradition by Western orientalists who wish to side line its sacred dimension and ‘sanitise’ or 'detoxify’ it of what they see as its inherent elitism and oppressive cultural and social structures. The author successfully debunks these arguments and provide a pathway to celebrate Sanskrit’s enduring sacredness, aesthetic powers, metaphysical acuity and its ability to generate knowledge in many domains. Scholars wearing the Western lens regard Sanskrit's sacredness as a smokescreen for elitist and oppressive views. They either don’t understand the dense ‘paramarthika’ (transcendent) aspects of the tradition or wish to beguile the non-scholars. Like in Pollock’s case, he ascribes low cadence to Vedas & Shastras and without providing any logical reasoning tries to reduce these as mere hymnologies. He fails to acknowledge that Vedas are the first recorded statements of human reasoning, a foremost attempt to answers the big questions like who are we? where have we come from? why this world exists? No other world scripture even comes closer to articulating these arguments in such poetic and definitive manner. Pollock ascribes greater priority to the ‘vyavaharika’ (ordinary) texts like ‘kavya’ completely failing to comprehend that in Vedic tradition both ‘shastra' and ‘kavya’ genres are the opposite sides of the same coin, both deal with metaphysical aspects of the world, one just in a more formal way that the other. Another bogey raised by western scholars deflated in this chapter is that Vedas and Sanskrit are inherently hierarchical and oppressive leading to Brahmanical elitism. The truth which perhaps in beyond the grasp of Western scholars is that Sanskrit is a unique tool in Vedic tradition for liberation available to all humans. This chapter also dissects another far-fetched theory that Sanskrit oral traditions are not important and that written Sanskrit tradition came in force only with the advent of Buddhists that too of Scythian & Turkic origins and successfully discredits it too. Chapter 2 provides a unique view into origins of Orientalism and how it evolved from its original European roots to currently in vogue strand of American Orientalism. The term ‘Orientalism’ and associated theory as propounded by Edward Said in 1978 discredited Western scholars by proving credibly that the way the western scholars ‘perceive the West and thereby defines East’ is inherently flawed. The author describes the rise of American orientalism and how it appropriated the Indian left and influenced post-colonial studies in India thus giving rise to the bogeys of Aryan invasion, marginalisation of Dalits & Muslims and anti-Brahmanical discourse in politics. This chapter also introduces Sheldon Pollock as the foremost pandit of American Orientalism and describes his collusion with Indian left. The author summarises the primary works of Sheldon Pollock in this chapter, in particular his publication ‘The language of the Gods in the World of Men’ where he tried to label Sanskrit as a dead language and also judged it as a primary tool of social oppressiveness in India. The author has tried to expose these works and has put forward an interesting viewpoint that Pollock can be located to the ancient Vedic Charvaka school of thought in light of his abhorrence to sacred. Chapter 3 deals in depth with the obsession of Western scholars with ‘secularising’ Sanskrit. Here author provides excepts from Pollock’s works and debunks the fabricated interpretation of Sanskrit as against transcendence, against ritual/yagna, against Shastras and against grammar. Here author proves Pollock as overly influenced with the Italian thinker Giambattista Vito on his interpretation of transcendence and sacredness as representation of a primitive culture. Chapter 4 is an argument against Sanskrit being a source of oppression as attested by Western scholars. Here author exposes the cunning attempt by Western scholars to come back into contention after a sound beating from Said’s Orientalism. The author first describes the flawed Pollock’s contention that the field of Indology is not something which helped oppressors but instead that ‘Orientalism as such had existed in Sanskrit itself long before the advent of European Orientalism.’ Then author exposes the inherent unsound nature of this argument and shows this as the clever ploy to boomerang the blame for oppression on Sanskrit itself and thereby exculpate the European Indologists. Then Author further disapproves of Pollock’s contention that the study of Sanskrit and its ancient texts hold clues to understanding oppression in Indian society today. Author claims that Pollock by justifying the domination built into Sanskrit and by his ardent wish to ‘liberate’ Indians from their own Shastras is only implying that the crown jewels of our civilisation i.e. Vedas and Shastras are not to be used as a means for producing new knowledge and thus making Indians intellectually dependent on West. The author lays bare this clever ploy by Pollock and his associates to justify his Anti-Shastras stand which runs through most of his works over several decades. The author’s contention is that Pollocks’ proposal would hand over the authority of Sanskrit studies to westernised scholars using his ‘political philology’, this would lead to western scholars like Pollock to call the shots and eventually become the proxies to understand the Indian culture and beliefs. Chapter 5 deals with Ramayana which Pollock views albeit ludicrously, as a project for propagating Vedic social oppression. Here is the most far-fetched theory ever propounded by a Western scholar that Ramayana is a myth potentially inspired by a Buddhist Jataka tale about a man named Rama. Here Pollock appears to side-line the traditional view that the Ramayana reflects an actual event, conveniently ignoring the issue of historical evidence. According to him Brahmins co-opted the new literary Sanskrit developed by Buddhists in order to write the Ramayana as their first kavya. One of the Pollock’s fundamental views is that all the important sacred figures of the tradition lack individuality and fee will. He sees that the characters in Valmiki’s Ramayana as lacking agency and freedom of choice and therefore no control over their destiny. For him, this is the acceptance of suffering which means there is no justice referring to karma as a form of fatalism. The author deflates this attempt at equating Karma with the Western concept of mechanistic fate and argues that this is based on a profound misunderstanding. Author says it is better to see Karma as a system of causation in which a portion of the effect is time-delayed. Author also exposes Pollock’s intellectual dishonesty by proving that he has an agenda of political intervention while interpreting these ‘dangers' of Ramayana. Pollock’s political bias was apparent in his work ‘Ramayana and political Imagination in India’ written very soon after the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. Chapter 6 deals with the sinister attempt to politicise Indian literature. Here author exposes Pollock’s approach to consider all the important historical developments strictly from the point of view of politics and social domination. He ignores that any legitimate quest for spiritual wisdom could have driven these cultural developments. This chapter summarises Pollock’s seminal theory of kavya which ascribes the primary purpose of kavya being a tool used by kings to reinforce and perpetuate their power with no emphasis on the spiritual dimensions to avoid showing a non-political motive at work. Either Pollock thinks that Indians are dim-witted or innocent enough to be beguiled but this chapter shows the depravity of overall thought process in all Pollock’s works. Chapter 7 continues with this dialogue but this time in the historical context. Here Pollock’s view of the rise of vernaculars and how power shaped these vernaculars is deflated. Pollock’s novel stipulation of Sanskrit cosmopolis model which insists that Sanskrit was driven top down by kings and Brahmins is discredited. The flaws in Pollock’s view, that Sanskrit was monopolised by Brahmins and that there was no writing before Buddhists came around 200 BC are uncovered. The author shows convincingly that Pollock rather naively superimposed the theory of aestheticization of power in most his works and this results in ill-conceived formalisation that Sanskrit grammar and kavya depend solely on the hold of royal power. Author does say rather harshly that it is dumb-founded to propagate this alleged link between grammar and social order and that Pollock compounds the confusion by saying that the king’s ‘philological judgement’ was an index of ‘correct political judgement’. According to author, Pollock does not seem to fully grasp the gist of Sanskrit grammar when he says that political was thoroughly pervaded by the poetical and the philological and above all the by grammatical. His example of word ‘varna’ used both in grammar (to mean a range of language sound) and as a social term (referring to individuals and groups with certain qualities) does not mean that it can be conflated to claim that politics and grammar of Sanskrit are causally linked. The author says that it is nothing but an example of ‘homographs’ which are words with more than one meaning and abound in all languages. Chapter 8 provides an alternative to Pollock’s view on the rise of Sanskrit and its relationship with vernaculars. The author’s hypothesis is that there has been an organic process that respects the sacred dimension in people’s lives and their agency in bringing historical changes. Hence one cannot presume top-down politics as the sole cause for change and that it would be more accurate to assume that Sanskrit spread organically throughout India. Chapter 9 refutes the Pollock’s paper ‘The Death of Sanskrit’ (2001) where Pollock lays bare his divisive agenda and condemn India’s latest attempts to re-popularise Sanskrit as 'political revisionism' in the service on nationalism. The author convincingly debunks the paper as latest in Pollock’s attempts to exploit dichotomies like Sanskrit versus the Vernaculars, Buddhists versus Hindus, Hindus versus Muslims and Dalit versus Brahmins. He says that this paper is nothing but adding a new dichotomy of Hindu nationalist attempts at reviving Sanskrit versus his own liberation philology approach that would detoxify it. The author points out that Pollock is using Hindu identity politics as an effigy to make a sweeping case against the efforts to promote Sanskrit’s viability as a spoken language. Chapter 10 provides some more inputs on Pollock’s methodology and his use of ‘political philology’ and ‘liberation philology’. The author shows that Political philology is a largely a Marxist initiative to use philology for the specific purpose of posting at politics (i.e. power and exploitation) as the driver of culture. Liberation philology is Pollock’s recent term which he uses to describe his particular ideological lens. It emphasises on social activism to bring change with social engineering. Author raises red flags on this approach and points to an alternative approach to the study of Sanskrit. Chapter 11 is the last chapter and in which author comes out with his own alternative approach of 'sacred philology’, a philosophy rooted in the conviction that Sanskrit cannot be divorced from its matrix in the Vedas and Shastras, or from its orientation towards the transcendent realm. Author believes that a wholehearted embrace of sacred philology would require not just that traditional Sanskrit scholars wake up from their hibernation and that a whole new and well-funded set of programmes be launched to support it and to develop a cadre of younger scholars. In conclusion, this is a seminal book by Rajiv Malhotra and would go long way in initiating a genuine public debate and dialogue about the defence of Sanskrit.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bala

    Tread with Caution and Curiosity: Usual supremacist-rant showcasing entire Indian civilization as one sanskriti mono-culture (that's a sly ingenuity I must say - using 'sanskriti' to refer to muti-cultural Indian civilization) while sweeping syncretism and rich argumentative tradition ( between diverse sects or philosophies in India) under the carpet. Not to mention the pseudo-science claims that West is appropriating 'mind-sciences' of India. One common tactic seen is to brand any liberal humani Tread with Caution and Curiosity: Usual supremacist-rant showcasing entire Indian civilization as one sanskriti mono-culture (that's a sly ingenuity I must say - using 'sanskriti' to refer to muti-cultural Indian civilization) while sweeping syncretism and rich argumentative tradition ( between diverse sects or philosophies in India) under the carpet. Not to mention the pseudo-science claims that West is appropriating 'mind-sciences' of India. One common tactic seen is to brand any liberal humanist approach on human-rights as 'Western', 'Outsider', 'Secular', without inquiring into details of what they are seeking to highlight. Of course, this 'Us vs Them' is the most common weapon in the right-wing toolbox to obscure further inquiry. Or to label any Indian (Hindu or any religion) who seeks to understand the *birth-based or gender-based hierarchy, as missionaries-driven or post-modernist. While the author is keen to pin the 'West' as trying to accentuate differences among Indians (arising from Caste hierarchies) he doesn't bother to introspect at prevailing poverty and vast inequalities (seen between different strata in Indian society). His favorite refuge is to cry wolf and use 'Hinduism' to deflect any difficult conversations around manipulative social-hierarchies which traces back to scriptures. I'm sure his troop must have played an instrumental role in popularizing the word 'Hinduphobia' such that Indian Hindus naturally get defensive when these difficult topics surface. When it comes to tracing origin of Sanskrit and migration theories, author would do well to develop some scientific mindset rather than repeating same old tripe that the aryan-migration hypothesis is a foreign ploy to divide and rule. Given that anyone with access to self-publishing can publish self-serving theories online, a random concoction of dubious anecdotes - like the approach usually seen in Indian right-wing media - don't suffice to establish or discredit a theory. As more genomic studies surface these days, audience would be better off referring to peer-reviewed research-articles published in international journals of academic repute (e.g. Nature) to understand peopling of India over many millennia. Sanskrit ought to be taken back from the clutches of supremacist protectionists (on the right who try to control India's vast intellectual legacy) for the benefit of Indian populace who are interested in understanding good and bad of India's past, through an intellectually honest approach. * Refer RigVeda Purusha Sukta and Gita 9:32 verse

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amith Vikram

    This book is a joke. Rajiv, a thief, is no scholar. Neither does he know Sanskrit nor does he understand the epistemology. He rants about how he has pioneered for Dharma, or that he alone has understood Pollock etc. It is more like an adolescent wannabe thinking highly of himself. He could not tolerate the criticism of Shatavdhani R Ganesh and proceeded with his personal attacks against him. Rajiv is a scoundrel who should be barred from entering the domain of Traditionalists. People should be c This book is a joke. Rajiv, a thief, is no scholar. Neither does he know Sanskrit nor does he understand the epistemology. He rants about how he has pioneered for Dharma, or that he alone has understood Pollock etc. It is more like an adolescent wannabe thinking highly of himself. He could not tolerate the criticism of Shatavdhani R Ganesh and proceeded with his personal attacks against him. Rajiv is a scoundrel who should be barred from entering the domain of Traditionalists. People should be careful. Interested people may read Anantanand Rambachan's rebuttal to Rajiv's Indra's net.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kasyap

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The narration style is also much easier to follow (compared to 'Breaking India'). Starting the book, I was not very sure why such a voluminous book was required. But the work done in refuting many of the stances/approaches/views of Dr.Pollock, a giant in this area, is fascinating. To top it off, the author has met Dr.Pollock on multiple occasions and informed him of the book that he will be publishing. He also mentions that the correspondence was cordial and gives c Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The narration style is also much easier to follow (compared to 'Breaking India'). Starting the book, I was not very sure why such a voluminous book was required. But the work done in refuting many of the stances/approaches/views of Dr.Pollock, a giant in this area, is fascinating. To top it off, the author has met Dr.Pollock on multiple occasions and informed him of the book that he will be publishing. He also mentions that the correspondence was cordial and gives credit to Dr.Pollock where due. Can't think of a more open and systematic approach when one is critiquing.Coming to the contents, this book touches upon all the narratives that are conveyed either subtly/in a straight forward fashion - is oppression the only achievement of Sanskrit? is oral tradition inferior? were the holy texts themselves written to subjugate a section of our people? etc. The author doesn't claim that everything was rosy or there was no oppression, but makes a logical counter to Dr. Pollock's claims. While reading some of the views of Dr.Pollock, particularly regarding Ramayana, I was countering many of those myself even before I got to the author's rebuttal. Some of the views held by Dr.Pollock in analyzing why 'X' character had performed an action were so ludicrous that it appears fairly clear that he has trying to fit in the epic into whatever bias he held/still holds (for example, the claim that Ramayana was written after emperor Ashoka's reign). Throughout the book, the author brings about the overarching them of Dr.Pollock - "your traditional scholars have not interpreted Sanskrit and Sanskrit texts the way they have to be. I and only I have the solution. Let me do it for you." Sounds patronizing and unfortunately, many of his ideas are mainstream,. Kudos to the author for highlighting and rebutting these.  

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ludo

    Never finished the book and probably never will. It was fascinating enough to read halfway through, but already from the first pages I knew "on who's side" I was (the author's ;-)). The author writes in a very comprehensible manner, yet shows proof of enormous scholarship and intellect. I'll keep spending reading-time on Sanskrit-texts, but can only keep fingers crossed that mr. Malhotra wins the battle. Never finished the book and probably never will. It was fascinating enough to read halfway through, but already from the first pages I knew "on who's side" I was (the author's ;-)). The author writes in a very comprehensible manner, yet shows proof of enormous scholarship and intellect. I'll keep spending reading-time on Sanskrit-texts, but can only keep fingers crossed that mr. Malhotra wins the battle.

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